Forest Lake Talks

12/6/22 Devotional from Ed

December 6, 2022

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (Common English Bible translation):

12 Brothers and sisters, we ask you to respect those who are working with you, leading you, and instructing you. 13 Think of them highly with love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are disorderly. Comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure no one repays a wrong with a wrong, but always pursue the good for each other and everyone else. 16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray continually. 18 Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t suppress the Spirit. 20 Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages, 21 but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil. 23 Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming. 24 The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.

25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27 By the Lord’s authority, I order all of you to have this letter read aloud to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Devotional: Each of us can think of someone we respect in multiple ways, whether it's a parent, trusted friend, colleague, teacher. Please take a minute and think about who has positively affected you. Now that you have a person in mind, reread these words from the Apostle Paul above, particularly the first two verses.

Were you the recipient of your mentor's patience and comfort? Were you the recipient of your mentor's love and peace?

If so, then notice the instructions we're now all getting from Paul in verse 14, a simple command that can be summarized succinctly: "Do the same for someone else."

On a more theological, esoteric note, think, "Don't suppress the Spirit."

Don't suppress the Spirit that has been given to each of us. This same Spirit worked through the heart, hands, and voices of your mentor(s). This same Spirit was given to us by Jesus Christ to do our part to bring peace and love.

And while you may not go and "read aloud" these words to everyone you see today, perhaps your hearts, hands, and voice will demonstrate "what is good" in this busted world.

Prayer: Holy God, we give thanks for those who have shown us a Spirit-filled life., and may your Spirit fill each of us this day and beyond. Amen.

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